Time for the final post of 2011......hence the title. This has been a very successful year for me, running-wise, breaking through the 1000-mile barrier for the first time ever. My racing was decidedly scaled back from previous years, but then again, I haven't done any truly challenging races since 2009, sticking with mostly 5K and 10K distances. Considering that I hurt my achilles tendon training for the Bay State Marathon in 2009, it's no wonder that I backed off in 2010, but I was also sick a lot that year which really got in the way. I guess when you boil it all down, I headed into 2011 simply looking to stay healthy and uninjured and just see how things went. Well, looking back now, I think they went pretty darn well! The monthly mileage numbers looked like this:
Pretty consistent.....except for that dip in Apr/May/Jun.....finished strong with 3 consecutive 100+ mile months to make up for it!
So now I'm 3 weeks into my 18 week training program to get ready to fulfill my life-long dream of running the Boston Marathon. I can't even begin to describe how excited I am at the mere idea of it....simply mind-blowing! My goals for that day in April are very simple......finish strong. I know the difficult training I have ahead of me, but having already completed a marathon successfully eases my mind. I know I can run the distance. I know I can prepare to run the distance. I know what it takes.
What I need to do is make it through in one piece.........oh yeah, and I'm also looking to make it a bit of a "corrective experience" from my previous marathon. I ran the 2009 Bay State Marathon in the middle of a nor'easter......35 degrees.....pouring rain.....high winds. Basically, all of my least favorite running weather situations all rolled into one. On my Facebook profile, I include the famous quote "there's no such thing as bad weather, only soft people"........so I guess on that day, I was pretty soft! While April in Boston can be a real crap shoot in terms of weather, I figure I've been through about the worst it can throw at me, so I'll actually be able to relax and run my race. Time-wise, I'll be happy to be somewhere around 4:30......but I'm really not that concerned with my time. It's only going to be my 2nd marathon ever, so it's not like I've got a tremendous reservoir of experience to draw from. I just believe that time seems reasonable for me and I think I should be able to hit the target.
So now we close the book on 2011.......and turn the page to start the next chapter in my continuing adventures as a runner. When I was well over 300 pounds in 2007, I could never have imagined I'd be where I am today......with running shoes piled up under the bed........dresser drawers I cannot close because of all the race shirts in them (not to mention the bins full of them in the basement!).....a cork board covered with race bibs and medals, but only from 2008 ('cause we haven't bothered since!)......
I'm a runner.......and I'm a happy, fortunate man with a loving and supportive wife, a beautiful son, a nice little house, a fulfilling second career as a teacher........I love my life!
I wish all of you a New Year full of love, laughter, wonder, health, happiness, and dreams......and I look forward to seeing you all out there on the road in 2012!